Tangled up in inquiry: Documenting pre -service science teachers' perspectives on inquiry as they reflect on the process of planning and teaching inquiry -based lessons
This dissertation focused on 13 preservice science teachers' own perspectives on inquiry and how those perspectives developed in the context of being required to engage their students in inquiry-based science during their student teaching. The questions guiding this research were (a) What are preservice science teachers' perspectives on inquiry? (b) What happens to preservice science teachers' perspectives on inquiry as they enact and systematically reflect on inquiry? (c) What factors do preservice science teachers identify as influencing their perspectives on inquiry in the context of planning and teaching inquiry-based lessons? Ten criteria for inquiry emerged out of the data. Two distinct perspectives on inquiry were identified within these 10 criteria, a procedurally-connected perspective and a procedurally-unconnected perspective. Analysis framed through these two perspectives showed that 7 of the preservice science teachers' perspectives shifted in the context of planning, teaching and reflecting on inquiry-based science. Six of the preservice teachers did not demonstrate shifts. Three of the preservice science teachers who shifted perspectives were chosen for further analysis. All 3 preservice science teachers were found to have constructed a more robust view of inquiry. Yet each preservice science teacher also described experiencing and engaging with inquiry in relation to her own unique set of instructional contexts. These findings suggest that requiring preservice teachers to plan, implement, and reflect on inquiry-based teaching could create a rich space for science teacher educators to engage with preservice teachers around their developing understandings of inquiry.
0533: Secondary education
0714: Science education